"We've golden soil and wealth for toil ..."
As we head into the summer season most of us will be taking advantage of the warmer weather by spending more time outdoors. While it may be good for the soul to soak up some sun after winter, there is a fine balance between enjoying our glorious outdoors and doing permanent damage to your skin.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia. Over 434,000 people are treated for non-melanoma cancers in Australia each year, and a further 11,500 people are treated for melanoma. In 2011, there were more than 2,000 deaths from melanoma (and non melanoma) skin cancers .. that is almost 6 people dying everyday in Australia (scary right?!).
And while UV radiation from the sun is our main source of Vitamin D, it is also the major cause of skin cancer. Our skin can burn in just 15 minutes in the Australian sun.
Despite all of this, living harmoniously with our sun is possible (we promise) provided you live a sun smart lifestyle.
Sun protective clothing: There is nothing more elegant than a beautiful maxi dress, sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat for your morning out to brunch or trip to the farmers markets. And gone are the days where you were the solo kid amongst your friends at the beach mortified that your folks had insisted you wear a rashie over your swimmers, they are basically a national icon now.
Sunscreen: Applying a generous amount of broad spectrum 50+ sunscreen should be part of your daily armour! The average sized adult needs a teaspoon of sunscreen for their head and neck, each limb and for the front and the back of the body. Also it’s important to remember application should happen 20 minutes before you go outside and reapply again every two hours (regardless of what the label says).
Seek out that shady spot: Shade is your most practical, user friendly form of sun protection. In combination with sun protective clothing and sunscreen - a well designed and positioned shady spot can significantly reduce UV exposure.